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  • I dislike the current magic system (v1)

    I dislike the current magic system. My main problem, and the one that is causing the others to be problems is the lack of Recharging between long rests. Somewhere it was mentioned during the Kickstarter, that Recharging will be reduced to 1 PP per 2 hours or something similar, which I would have been probably still OK with.

    Bennies giving only 1d4 PPs is also a big limitation considering that there is no regular Recharging.

    With no Recharging, the SWPF Cantrip (non-damage dealing ones) that cost 1PP are too high in cost, no one will use them, because they will want to preserve their PPs for the upcoming fight. As there are no damage dealing cantrips, the alternative there is Shorting Bolt, but that is harder than a normal Bolt and the chance of critical failure is very high. The reason 5E for example has these cantrips is that the magic users are that way still somewhat useful in a fight once they spent their spells, as they deal the same damage as a sword, but will of course never be as good at it as a fighter for several reasons.

    This a combination of the disadvantages of D&D and the the lack of the advantages of Savage Worlds. If I wanted to play a Vancian or Semi-Vancian system, I could play D&D (or PF), but that is not the idea here. This is supposed to be better.

  • #2
    I think it's supposed to be a balancing act for how powerful spells are in general. There are way more edges or choices for spellcasting characters, which give them major advantages over everybody else. In addition many nw powerful spell options have been added over from PF (Timestop, wish, Shapechange has no real limitation).

    However, I completely agree and dislike the implementation as well.

    This means that spellcasters have the same PF issue as in vanilla PF. Casters have very low resources initially, but then with time can just nova and outclass everybody. I think emulating this point of 'balance' from PF is a bad idea.

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    • #3
      I’d say 1pp per 2 hours is still too low, especially later on. 2pp per hour might be doable. But to be honest, I’m considering just houseruling back to standard SWADE. As long as the GM enforces that they on recharge during rest, and not while stalking through a dungeon, I don’t see it removing the resource pressure.

      I’ve never had non-casters complain about being overshadowed. And in my experience at least, the faster recharge let casters branch out more. Instead of loading down on edges for more pp and faster recharge, it let them take more skills and more powers, making them more versatile instead of more powered. At least in my group.

      Obviously I’ll wait to see the final iteration. But right now it seems overly restrictive to me, compared to baseline SWADE.

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      • #4
        I think it was a major step in the right direction in SWADE that PPs recharge 5 per hour from 1 per hour (I think) in earlier editions. Now it is essentially 0.3 PPs per hour. And its not like they have a lot more PPs on higher ranks to offset this. The example wizard has 22, which means the character can only cast twice as much spells per day as a Novice.

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        • #5
          Cantrips do have the possibility of refunding the PP on a raise, right? There's some risk there, but given they also seem to be intended to be used outside of high-risk situations, the raise is likely more attainable than it would be in combat. ("Oh, you're lighting a campfire with bolt, roll it at a +2 bonus, 'cause it's not moving...")

          I do think that PF players will be a little surprised by the lack of damage cantrips -- like acid splash or ray of frost. BUT, I'm holding out judgement until I see how the fact that the powers that are available seem to have more potential to do damage than any of those cantrips could, and are potentially available at much lower levels. Bolt on a Novice character, dealing 3d6 damage (on a raise) seems pretty potent, compared to level 1 evocation spells in PF.

          I was thinking that the 10 PP's did seem rather limiting -- a bit of a throwback to old-school games where cantrips weren't a thing and casters had to be far more judicious in their use of their limited spell slots -- I figured I was just missing something and would find it as I read further, but it seems the answer is the MOAR POWER edge or using bennies to recover them?

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          • #6
            Even something like "if you go 8 hours without spending any Power Points, you regain all Power Points you've already spent" would be a step in the right direction, I think.

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            • #7
              Also I think the Rapid Recharge Edge seems weak. Instead of an 8 hour rest you only need a 4 hour rest to regain all of your PPs. But how often does this even occur? In my experience, you either make a short rest or long rest, to borrow some D&D terms. A long rest is usually overnight which is approximately 8 hours anyway, so a 4 hour rest hardly ever occurs.

              Edit: And Improved Rapid Recharge regenerates all PPs every 2 hours. Could this not at least be a little bit smoother?
              Last edited by Tumola; 03-27-2021, 05:11 PM.

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              • Reef
                Reef commented
                Editing a comment
                That's a very good point. You either stop for the night, or you don't.

              • stadi
                stadi commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes, Rapid Recharge is weak, 4 hours is simply too long. Improved RR is a bit better, that's almost something like a short rest, but I wouldn't want to spend two edges for this. Also, the party would do this short rest only for the magic user's sake, they wouldn't get a direct benefit.

              • Tumola
                Tumola commented
                Editing a comment
                I actually find IRR more problematic, because it is such a large power spike. Every magic user with this Edge will insist that a short rest is always at least 2 hours. "Your rest is interrupted by a pack of goblins" "I assume my PPs have regenerated by now?" "No, it has just been 90 minutes, so you are still at 0 PPs." ""

                Maybe it would be better if RR would regenerate 1d4 PP per hour and IRR doubles that to 2d4? This would maybe harmonize better with the normal flow of the game.

            • #8
              Here's an example, why Recharge only during a long rest doesn't make sense. Just because D&D does it like this, is still doesn't make sense. The wizard gets up, and first thing in the morning he spends all his PP for some powerful spell. Then he has a comfortable breakfast and catches a tuk-tuk or carriage and visits a couple of magical book shops and a library. He then has lunch at a fancy restaurant and goes home to take some notes / work a bit on a paper. Then he takes another carriage to go to another wizards mansion for a party. There they are attacked by some evil cultist, but he still has not a single PP even though he not once strained himself during the day and it's already evening.

              Comment


              • Tumola
                Tumola commented
                Editing a comment
                It is clear that they want to limit the PP regeneration and I get why. Spells are stronger and it is setting-specific etc. But that is really old-fashioned gameplay, that's why they moved away from it in SWADE. And Pathfinder may be old-fashioned but if I like it so much, I could just go ahead and play non-Savage Pathfinder.

                Maybe you should have some limited regeneration like 1d4 per hour (just like spending a Benny)? Rapid Regeneration makes this 2d4, and Imp. Rapid Regeneration 3d4 per hour?

            • #9
              Any criticisms I make, I make with the fact in mind that this stuff has been play tested. With that said, I do generally agree that the magic system for Savage Pathfinder is so far my least favorite thing about it. I think there is a difference in recreating the feel/experience of Pathfinder, and in recreating the mechanics of Pathfinder. The 8 hour rest thing really feels like an attempt to recreate mechanics of a different system versus the feel of a different system.

              The big challenge in dungeon crawling is resource management. The standard way Savage Worlds recuperates Power Points matches more closely with 5e style short and long rests. Five points recovered per hour spent resting. At heroic level, it is reasonable that a caster might have 30 power points. With an 8-hour rest, two of which are spent on watch, a caster could recover all 30 PP in just the 6 hours they actually spend asleep. Also, the concept of an approximately one hour rest is built into the system in the form of the golden hour. So, with an hour of resting following a big encounter or series of encounters, that caster is going to get back 5 pp.

              At high levels, 5 pp for a 1 hour rest isn't great. But personally, I feel like 20 from IRR is too much to really emphasize resource management. Maybe the idea mentioned above about RR and IRR boosting the amount of Power Points of Benny recovers is a good idea. You take a short rest, recuperate 5PP, and burn a Benny to regain 1d4, 2d4, or 3d4 additional PP (based on which edge you have). Meta resources are still resources, so now you are factoring in whether you would have more PP or whether you would have those Bennies. A 1-hour short rest would recover anywhere from 8 to 17 PP if you have improved rapid recharge and choose to spend a Benny. That seems more reasonable to me for a heroic rank character.

              Comment


              • Leatherneck556
                Leatherneck556 commented
                Editing a comment
                ETA: This idea I pulled out of my butt needs a point of clarification... RR and IRR wouldn't give you the extra d4's everytime you spent a Benny to recover PP. It would have some stipulation like "you may gain this benefit once each hour spent resting".

                Alternatively, if you don't like the idea of having to spend a Benny to benefit from these edges that you spent advances on, it could just be that you regain 5 PP per hour spent resting and RR makes it 5+1d4/IRR makes it 5+2d4. Something like that.

                ​​​​​​​Just spitballing ideas to make it more resource management based. The more I think about it, the weirder the 8-hour thing is to me. A 20th Level Wizard in PF can cast like... 40+ discrete spells per day with an 8-hour rest to recharge, and spells of one level don't affect spells of a different level (ie: casting timestop doesn't reduce the number of fireballs you can throw). SWPF gives a legendary character maybe like 30-ish PP, and casting that 8 PP timestop decreases your blast castings by 3. Far fewer spells per day in SWPF than PF1e. To me, that recharge economy has to change to account for the difference in PP vs. Vancian magic.

            • #10
              I'm on board with "recover 1d4 PP per hour, 2d4 with Rapid Recharge, 3d4 with Improved RR." Spending a Benny to recover just 1d4 can stay, as far as I'm concerned.

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              • #11
                To expand on my above post where I agree with OP that I'm not a huge fan of the magic system in SWPF (v1): It's easily my number one point of dissatisfaction with the system so far. The only other one really being that monks are so weak a class as to not really be worth taking. Regardless, I can sum up my concerns with the current magic system in three main points:
                1. No recharging between long rests. Ie: no "short rest" system. I understand that short rests aren't in the original 3.5e d20 type rules, but casters could also use far more spells per day than SW casters. So to me it evens out. I think having a paced recharge throughout the waking day (ie: a "short rest" equivalent to partially recharge PP) would be a good idea. But that's already been beaten to death here.
                2. Cantrips. I really like the idea of your cantrips being based off your known powers, but that's the only thing I like about them. The risk vs. reward just isn't there for the player. PP being on a daily recharge makes each individual PP so much more valuable. Who is going to bother risking 1 PP for a cantrip when elemental manipulation, bolt, and protection are all 1 PP spells that have much more substantial effects? There needs to be some other reason to cast cantrips (+2 to cast, cast for free as long as you currently have at least 1 PP, only burn PP on a failure, etc)
                3. The flavor of Wizards (specifically Wizards) vs. other casters. The main reason to specifically be a Wizard is to have access to the widest variety of spells possible. Using the New Powers edge a bunch of times to make this happen isn't a very compelling way to do it or a good deal for the player. Also, any non-wizard class can do that same thing. The wizard's spellbook is all downside in SWPF, but in the original source material it is also an upside: you can scribe spells you find in scrolls and other spellbooks. To make wizards more distinct from Sorcerers or generic Arcane Background (Magic) casters, I think it would be cool to either:
                  • Make Starting Powers/New Powers Edge for wizards act as "slots". Ie: 3 Starting Powers + 2 powers from New Powers edge = 5 power slots. When a wizard studies his spellbook, he selects from all the powers in his spellbook (of which there is no set limit) the 5 powers he will have active for the day in his slots. Normal SWADE magic rules apply from there; cast the "prepared" spells as though they are the only powers the hero has until such a time as the Wizard studies his spellbook again.
                  • The powers you take from starting powers and the New Powers edges all work normally as per standard SWADE magic rules, but additional spells can be scribed into the wizard's spellbook and then cast as rituals.
                Last edited by Leatherneck556; 03-27-2021, 11:29 PM.

                Comment


                • stadi
                  stadi commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I completely agree with everything, apart the memorization part. Something definitely needs to be done to the Wizard so that he has access to more spells, but I don't like the memorizations approach. That's too Vancian for me and I never liked that, never understood what the thematic logic behind that is. If I want to play Vancian I can get back to D&D. It could be something like a ritual. If you do a ritual, you have a bigger chance that it succeeds, and / or costs less PP. And / or maybe you can do rituals for all the spells beneath your level, even if you don't know them.

              • #12
                Huge Disclaimer:
                I do not own the SWPF book, but I have done extensive work on a 3.5 --> SW Conversion. As I learned from the thread on cantrips, opining on a topic without having all the information usually ends badly, but from what I've read here I just need to get a couple things off my chest...

                It may seem obvious, but one of the things I learned is that 3.5/PF and Savage Worlds have completely different magic systems. All my attempts to shoehorn a "spells-per-day" model into SW has ended in failure. Unless you're willing to replace the entire magic system, like Zadmar did with his Savage Vancian Magic book, you are ultimately better off leaning more toward Savage Worlds mechanics and adding a healthy dose of handwavium into the mix. For instance, the aptly named Wizard Edge makes a decent replacement for a spellbook (simply replace the +1 PP cost with a mandate to "prepare" a spell's Trapping ahead of time). There's no need to reinvent the wheel if all it needs is a little grease.

                The other big issue, as Leatherneck556 pointed out, is that Power Points do not fluidly translate into spells-per-day. This is where Savage World's recharge mechanics become important. Though not a perfect emulation, being able to replenish PP gives approximately the same feel as having a large number of prepared spells. It's also important to point out that PP-regeneration requires rest. Even if a hour skulking through a dungeon is uneventful, the stress of facing the unknown will prevent normal recharging. Same goes for a forced march, hard ride, meeting a queen, or any number of other stressful situations. So without changing a single core rule, GMs have plenty of leeway to emulate 3.5/PF-type resource management.

                In closure, I don't want to pass any judgment prematurely (especially since I haven't looked at the whole system), but if my anecdotal experience converting 3.5 material holds any merit, I think nerfing PP regeneration is unnecessary. All you need a guideline for when magic users could and could not regain them.

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                • Leatherneck556
                  Leatherneck556 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Originally posted by Deskepticon View Post
                  All you need a guideline for when magic users could and could not regain them.
                  This 100%

              • #13
                Overall, I was hoping for a more SWADE like magic system. Even the iconic wizard has limited magic.

                For PP, I will likely house rule it back to SWADE. Regenerate 5/10/20 per hour. If they're going to burn 2 edges on recharging, let them have it.

                Not sure what I'll do with the Wizard Spellbook. It's made of disadvantage, no upside.

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                • #14
                  While I'm not planning to increase the natural speed of Power Point recover (I like the "sleep to recover spells/powers" model of Pathfinder), I am making a few other changes to help casters conserve their points.

                  1) Cantrips don't normally cost any power points. They are harmless effects, mostly for color and flavor. I would say that the character must at least have 1 power point available to use a Cantrip, and if the casting roll is a Critical Failure, only then is it spent. Otherwise, the cantrip is free to cast.

                  2) When a spellcasting roll (for a normal spell) gets a Raise, the caster may choose to either take the listed benefit for the Raise, or he may choose to cast the spell at the normal effect for free. If he gets 2 Raises, then he gets both benefits.

                  3) When you spend a Bennie to recover Power Points, you get to roll your Spirit Attribute die instead of just 1d4 to see how many points you recover. This provides a method for characters that want to use this option frequently a means of boosting the number of points they can get back.

                  Comment


                  • #15
                    Originally posted by Leatherneck556 View Post
                    [*]The flavor of Wizards (specifically Wizards) vs. other casters. The main reason to specifically be a Wizard is to have access to the widest variety of spells possible. Using the New Powers edge a bunch of times to make this happen isn't a very compelling way to do it or a good deal for the player. Also, any non-wizard class can do that same thing. The wizard's spellbook is all downside in SWPF, but in the original source material it is also an upside: you can scribe spells you find in scrolls and other spellbooks. To make wizards more distinct from Sorcerers or generic Arcane Background (Magic) casters, I think it would be cool to either:
                    • Make Starting Powers/New Powers Edge for wizards act as "slots". Ie: 3 Starting Powers + 2 powers from New Powers edge = 5 power slots. When a wizard studies his spellbook, he selects from all the powers in his spellbook (of which there is no set limit) the 5 powers he will have active for the day in his slots. Normal SWADE magic rules apply from there; cast the "prepared" spells as though they are the only powers the hero has until such a time as the Wizard studies his spellbook again.
                    • The powers you take from starting powers and the New Powers edges all work normally as per standard SWADE magic rules, but additional spells can be scribed into the wizard's spellbook and then cast as rituals.
                    I would borrow an idea from Mutants and Masterminds for spellbooks. They have a power framework called an "Array", and with it, the player can only actually use a limited number of powers in the Array at once (the others are dormant, as if he doesn't have them at all). Just say that the Wizard's spellbook is their "array", and it comes with 5 powers, (to start with) but the Wizard can only use/prepare 3 of them each day (chosen during morning spell prep). If the Wizard wants to change his memorized array, he needs to sleep and make the changes during the next morning's prep. There could be a feat/class ability that let him cast a non-prepared spell from the book as a Ritual with a longer casting time (say 10 minutes), or even take an hour of time reading the book to change his prepared spells once during the day. These abilities would show off the Wizard's versatility and ability to frequently have the powers that are needed, but not have vastly more powers prepared at once than the other caster types.

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